Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the Lord their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared the Lord. Then Haggai, the messenger of the Lord, spoke to the people with the Lord‘s message, “I am with you, declares the Lord.” And the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people. And they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God, on the twenty-fourth day of the month, in the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king. Haggai 1:12-15 ESV
You will say in that day:
“I will give thanks to you, O Lord,
for though you were angry with me,
your anger turned away,
that you might comfort me.
“Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:1-2 ESV
When Queen Elizabeth I ruled England, the king of Spain sent a fleet of ships called the Armada into the English Channel to invade and conquer the country. The English troops assembled in a field to prepare for battle, and the queen herself came and visited her troops. She gave them a famous speech to spur them on and give them courage in the conflict that was coming. She said, “I am come amongst you at this time . . . to live or die amongst you all.” She said that she would fight with them if necessary, even though she was a physically weak woman. She said she had the heart of a king, and that she was sure that they would win the battle for their queen and their country. Her speech and her presence gave the troops courage, and they were able to defeat the Spanish Armada.
God spoke to the prophet Haggai and told him to tell the people that it was time for them to rebuild the temple. It would take strength and courage for them to do this, because the people of Judah were still surrounded by enemies who would hassle them and try to stop them. But the Lord gave strength and courage to their leaders and to all the people and stirred them up to do this task, and the people followed and obeyed the Lord. He promised them through the prophet, “I am with you.” Knowing that God was with them was what gave them the strength and courage to start building again.
We also face struggles in our lives, and sometimes it feels as though everything is against us. But God promises never to leave us. He gives his people the promise, “I am with you always.” Jesus came to be with us and to show us the love of God. His love took him all the way to the cross, where he died so that our sins could be forgiven and we could become God’s people. Because of Jesus, we know that we are God’s people and that he will always be with us and help us and hear our prayers. We can trust in his promise no matter what happens.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to be our Savior, and for being with us always. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.